Eve Was Told ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’ Would ‘Never Work.’ She Made It Anyway

If there was one woman you looked up to coming of age as a young Black girl in the 2000s, it was Eve. With divine bone structure, a powerful short blonde haircut, and bars for days, Eve was like the beautiful, tough older sister we all wish we had.

She dropped her debut album, Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady, in 1999. It charted number one on the Billboard 200, making the Philly native the third female rapper to achieve the accolade. What followed was a career that places Eve as an undeniable icon in the rap game. “Who’s That Girl,” the first single from her 2001 album, Scorpion, was listed number 97 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop; in that same year she won the BET award for best female hip-hop artist. Eve also took home a Grammy in 2002 for her song featuring Gwen Stefani, “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” for best rap/sung collaboration.

But Eve didn’t just stop at music. After starring in hits like Barbershop and appearing in other movies like Charlie’s Angels, she dropped her namesake comedy sitcom, Eve, on UPN. In 2014, Eve became a cohost on talk show The Talk and just last year received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination along with her Talk costars.

Now married with four stepchildren, Eve is living in the U.K. and still doing what she does best: living her life to the fullest. The rap queen returned to the screen on October 19 in Queens, a new ABC series starring Eve, Naturi Naughton, Brandy, and Nadine Velazquez as former girl group members trying to recapture the height of their glory days.

And 20 years after the release of Scorpion, Eve spoke with Glamour about some of her most memorable rap moments. For the latest edition of 5 Songs, 5 Stories, the rapper talks about how some of her favorite songs came to be.

“Let Me Blow Ya Mind” featuring Gwen Stefani

Considered one of the most successful rap/pop collaborations of all time, “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” propelled Eve into an entirely new musical orbit. Her lyrics tackle what it means to be mainstream and the longevity of her rap career. Eve took home a Grammy for the song, and the music video won an MTV Video Award.

It’s the one song that I wrote fully—like, literally every single thing, every word. I write my own stuff, but usually I get lazy after I write verses. I don’t want to write the chords, and Dre was like, “You’re not leaving the studio until this song is done.” I hated him that day, but I’m so happy he made me stay.

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